Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stash vs. Hoard

As I've scratched the quilting itch lately, including getting my son involved in his first quilt project (but don't tell his friends at school!) we went through my fabric stash picking out material.  As we sifted through yards and yards of flower prints, pinks, pastels, and juvenile prints that were too juvenile for a tween, too young even for my youngest child, I came to the sinking realization that my so-called "stash" has aged into a "hoard".

A well stocked stash, of any size, would be filled with fabrics that I love and want to create from.  There might even be some solids or neutrals, which not my favorite, would fill in the gaps and allow me to create the works of art I want to make.

What I found in my full cupboard of materials, was lots of juvenile prints that I expected to turn into something lovable, oh, maybe 8 years ago, when my children still watched The Wild Thornberrys and Dora the Explorer did not trigger vomiting sounds from my youngest.  When Po and Tinky Winky were beloved icons.

Unloved, mismatched, no-longer age appropriate fabric riddles my stash, aging it in my view as mold on cheese.  The fabric is still perfectly good, of course.  And given my sticker shock when buying fabric to complete Barley's quilt (over $10 per yard!!), I almost feel sick thinking about how much money I've spent on fabric I many never use.  Also, at 7 yards for the backing, never mind the pieced front, a finished quilt could easily run hundreds of dollars in material, not including my labor. Yikes!!  Those cheaply made versions coming out of China for under $200 could almost make you forget the questionable labor practices involved.

I'll be taking a more critical eye to culling the hoard, donating to worthy charity groups that make quilts for children.  And I pulled some fabric that I have loved for decades to make myself my own quilt, after Barley's is done.

Speaking of stash, another Franklin Habit cartoon featuring Einstein and Queen Elizabeth, on the merits of yarn stashing is here.  Enjoy!


  1. If you eliminate all the outdated prints, you will have room for lots of wonderful new fabric!

  2. How does the wrong side of the fabric look...is there potential to use it that way? 20 years ago, my family went to Hawaii, and these guys were walking around with the niki-hoi Hawaiian shirts that had the wrong side showing (toned down the niki-hoi-ness).
    Congrats on 20 years of being married (my brother's wedding anniversary, also).
    ~ Little drummer girl

  3. I like your thinking--both of you!

  4. It's not hoarding, it is a family tradition! When Mom passed away Dad sent unopened wool from WT Grant's department store which closed in the early 1970's.


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